• NEL Research Projects

    We are actively looking to recruit top science and engineering graduates to join our team to work on any of the projects below. Projects can be tailored for undergraduate, Honours, Masters, or PhD level, and usually involve a joint position with a collaborator in Sci/Med faculties. Check out our publication list to see what we have been working on recently.

    In Vivo Sensors

    Blood tests and other common diagnostic assays are designed to measure the concentration of a disease biomarker at a single moment in time. However we know that diseases are highly dynamic processes, as are our body's responses to disease and therapeutic intervention. Therefore, our long-term aim is to design nanosensors that can be introduced into the body to monitor the dynamics of the disease, the host response, and the response to therapy in situ. This project requires a detailed understanding of how to design biocompatible devices suitable for in vivo use, how to design sensor chemistries for different molecules, and also how to detect and transduce the information.

     

    PhD and Honours projects currently available include:

    • Design, synthesis, characterisation and pre-clinical evaluation of nanoparticle scaffolds for in vivo sensing using a range of biomedical imaging modalities (optical imaging, ultrasound, photoacoustics)
    • Structure-based and/or rational design of novel binders (enzymes, antibody scaffolds, aptamers, etc) for protein biosensing
    with the following applications:
    • New approaches for rapid detection of bloodstream infections in high risk patients
    • New approaches for monitoring response to treatment and disease recurrence in cancer patients
    • Monitoring the health and viability of cells grown in 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering or cellular therapies

    In Vitro Sensors

    The World Health Organisation recently identified a new criteria for the design of in vitro diagnostic tests - the ASSURED criteria (Affordable, Sensitive, Specific, User-friendly, Rapid and Robust, Equipment-free, and Deliverable to end-users). Within this framework, we are developing unique assays and devices (a) to perform diagnostic tests without the need for complex lab infrastructure; or (b) to provide multiplexed molecular information, in a timely manner, to guide medical treatment.

     

    Projects currently available include:

    • Rapid assays to direct antimicrobial treatment in suspected sepsis cases in hospitals
    • Paper and hydrogel assays for rapid and equipment-free protein detection 
    • Design of novel sensors for applications in food security, agriculture and bioprocessing industries

    ARC Centre for BioNano Science and Technology

    Dr Corrie is one of the Chief Investigators in this exciting centre that links 20 research groups across Australia with the goal of understanding the interactions that occur between nano-materials and biological systems (from the scale of molecules to whole organisms). The centre funds research in the lab, but also provides the additional benefits of an extended research community (~200 scientists across the country), an annual retreat, exchanges between collaborating groups, and links to partner investigators all over the world. For more information on related events, news, people and links, click here.

     

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